Eat More Protein

I want a marketing campaign that Chick-Fil-A has, but instead of eat more chicken, it says, “EAT MORE PROTEIN.” The importance of animal protein in the diet cannot be understated. If your number one concern is weight loss, you 100% need to be eating more protein. Let’s just start there. Protein is not solely about muscle mass. If you’re eating adequate amounts of protein (about 1g per pound of bodyweight), you will be much more full throughout the day and much less prone to mindless snacking. 

“The average American derives about 10-15% of their calories from protein, which is extremely low. If you’re a CrossFitter and you’re getting that much of your calories from protein then you really need to bump it up. The average CrossFitter should be at 20-25% of their calories from protein,” according to Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt. 

Now, of course having muscle mass is important. Does that mean eating enough protein is going to make everyone bulky and super muscular? Absolutely not. You cannot put on muscle mass solely with just food. You have to exercise and exercise A LOT. The great example I once heard was to think of it like you’re building a house from scratch. What do you need? Well, you need a TON of material. You need all the wood, screws, drywall, everything (which is the food). Now, if you just have the material and it’s sitting there, is the house going to get built? No. Of course not. You need workers to put in all the work and actually build the house (the exercising). So you’re not going to get bulky and overly muscular with just eating enough protein and 5-6 hours of exercise a week. 

The real purpose of animal protein is what we spoke of to start this blog: Satiety. If you are eating things that make you feel more full, you are less likely to snack on things that do NOT make you feel full. Eating those things that don’t make you feel full make you want more and the more you want, the more you’re going to eat and the never-ending cycle continues. 

You must look at the things you’re putting in your body as either nourishment or medication and I’m speaking of medication in a negative sense just to be clear. Nourishment is something your body needs. Animal protein. Water. Oxygen. Baseline level of fruits and vegetables. These are things your body NEEDS to perform optimally. 

Medications are things your body is using to treat a SYMPTOM. Drugs that get sold by your pharmacist or over the counter are no different than alcohol or sweets. I know that’s an extreme take but you really do need to consider them as such and I will tell you why. 

You’ve had a stressful day at work. Your spouse did something to upset you and you realize you have a flat tire once you get home. What happens in your brain? You begin to feel depressed, angry, sad. A rush of emotions enters your brain. Then what happens? You go inside and reach for your favorite snack or bottle of alcohol. What are you trying to do? You’re trying to make yourself feel better. You’re treating the symptoms of anger, depression, and sadness, and trying to eradicate them by making yourself feel better through the consumption of food or alcohol.

And the real problem is we justify the consumption of these things WITH exercise. What do I mean? Well, again let’s say I’m sad or depressed, and I eat a whole bag of Oreos. How am I going to cut myself slack for doing that? “Oh, well. I’ll just burn it off at the gym tomorrow,” I think to myself. Really? Has anyone ever smoked 3 cigarettes in a row and then gone to the gym to burn off the nicotine? No. Of course not. But why did the person smoke the cigarettes? Because they were stressed, depressed, or angry. 

“There is NO regulation for endorphin-activating substances that give us a buzz that the human body DOESN’T need. The human body needs protein and fat. The human body needs water. Doesn’t need alcohol. Doesn’t need carbohydrates,” says MD and PhD, Robert Cywes. 

What is he saying there? There is NO feedback loop in the body that will prevent you from eating or drinking things that give your brain a buzz. Why? Because your brain likes the buzz too much. Even though your body doesn’t need it. Even though you might be the most full you’ve ever been. Your brain will bypass that checks and balances to get that high. 


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